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Benjie Heu is Professor of Ceramics at Southeast Missouri State University. He received his MFA in Ceramics from Ohio University, post-bac in Ceramics from UMASS Dartmouth, and his BFA from the University of Montevallo. His artwork is exhibited nationally and internationally in juried, curated, and solo exhibitions and he conducts visiting artist workshops and residencies at universities and institutions across the United States. Benjie was a presenter and demonstrator at the 2022 Alabama Clay Conference in Birmingham and selected exhibitions include the Wichita Ceramics National Exhibition in Kansas, Birds and Fish III at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana, From Ground to Surface at NCECA Sacramento, Creep Show IV at the Clay Center of New Orleans, and States of Clay at Buchanan Arts Center in Nashville.

Artist Statement

Ceramics and Drawing is an immediate and accessible format that I enjoy. Illustrated objects communicate much like a multiple-panel sequence in a graphic novel. Translating oral narrative into a visual narrative not only reveals the significance of the story but it teaches me about myself and extends that revealing devise to the viewer. I prefer simple forms with line carving and mark making because of their concise nature allowing time to sit still or zigzag through a composition. I employ simple but richly textured surfaces to transform easily relatable and yet often overlooked anxieties of everyday life - the frailty of our bodies, the specter of chemical dependency, religious uncertainty, family dynamics - into figures or obstacles to be faced by the viewer. The most outlandish adventures are accounted with an eye fixed on the bare essentials. Battles against time, against the obstacles that prevent the fulfillment of desire, or the repossession of something cherished but lost are themes that provoke me. Revealing truth and humor in the face of horror and the seemingly absurd is my answer.

Benjie Heu Ceramics

Photo Credit: Way Too Extra

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